Douglas Engelbart, Developer of the Early Computer Mouse, Dead at 88

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Douglas Engelbart, an internet pioneer and developer of the early computer mouse, passed away early this morning at the age of 88.

Engelbart was involved in the development of the ARPANET—the precursor to the modern internet—and showed off hypertext long before most people had interacted with a computer, let alone touched a networked computer. On December 9, 1968 Douglas Engelbart's "Mother of All Demos" from Menlo Park, California showcased what was considered incredibly futuristic technology for the time, including his mouse. You can watch the demo on YouTube.

From the Computer History Museum:

While at SRI, Engelbart's most important work began with his 1959 founding of the Augmentation Research Center, where he developed some of the key technologies used in computing today. Engelbart brought the various strands of his research together for his "mother of all demos" in San Francisco on December 8, 1968, an event that presaged many of the technologies and computer-usage paradigms we would use decades later. His system, called NLS, showed actual instances of, or precursors to, hypertext, shared screen collaboration, multiple windows, on-screen video teleconferencing, and the mouse as an input device. This demo embodied Engelbart's lifelong commitment to solving humanity's urgent problems by using computers as tools to improve communication and collaboration between people.

Engelbart's legacy can be shared thanks to the incredible tools he helped create. Our hats are off to you, Mr. Engelbart.